By Nation Reporter
THE Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) has called for local investment that will result in increased productivity in the manufacturing sector, hence contributing to economic growth.
PMRC executive director Bernadette Deka said the manufacturing industry had not lived up to its full potential in relation to the development of the country.
Ms Deka said it was envisaged that local investment in the manufacturing sector would lead to a ripple effect in the economy that would result in increased productivity, increased employment and a reduction in poverty.
She was speaking in an opinion piece prepared by PMRC focussing on the Presidential speech during the inauguration ceremony in Lusaka.
“President Edgar Lungu in his inaugural speech highlighted the need for Zambians to take up investments so as to ensure that demand for local products is locally driven.
“As PMRC, we reiterate the calls by the President to continue to add value to our raw materials. It is envisaged that local investment in the manufacturing sector will lead to a ripple effect in the economy that will result in increased productivity, increased employment and a reduction in poverty,” said Ms Deka.
She also said calls to focus on the agriculture sector should also include the diversification away from the maize crop to include the production of cash crops, livestock, and fisheries and agro-processing that would support the manufacturing sector.
Ms Deka said PMRC believed that a combination of these policies would result in accelerated economic growth.
She noted that the agriculture sector had also been characterised by an over dependence on the production of the maize crop.
Ms Deka further said PMRC welcomed the initiative by Government to invest in alternative energy sources, saying though it was costly the move was necessary.
“Zambia mainly depends on Hydro-power as the main source of energy, which over the last few years has been affected by the slow pace in new investments and the impact of climate change resulting in the current power deficit.
“Investment in alternative sources is costly but necessary. The President in his inaugural speech revealed that his administration would pursue nuclear energy as an alternative energy source. This kind of investment will also require investment in safety and environmental protection as necessity for this kind of investment,” she said.
Ms Deka, however, said PMRC would continue in its relentless role to offer evidence-based policy solutions through research and education in order to unlock Zambia’s potential.